Related to: 'Travelling with Ghosts'

Orion Spring

Let’s Talk about Death (over Dinner)

Michael Hebb
Authors:
Michael Hebb

For readers of Being Mortal and When Breath Becomes Air, the acclaimed co-founder of Death over Dinner offers a practical, inspiring guide to life's most difficult yet important conversation Of the many critical conversations we will all have throughout our lifetime, few are as important as the ones discussing death - and not just the practical considerations, such as DNRs and wills, but what we fear, what we hope, and how we want to be remembered. Yet few of these conversations are actually happening. Inspired by his experience with his own father and countless stories from others who regret not having these conversations, Michael Hebb cofounded Death Over Dinner - an organization that encourages people to pull up a chair, break bread, and really talk about the one thing we all have in common. Death Over Dinner has been one of the most effective end-of-life awareness campaigns to date; in just three years, it has provided the framework and inspiration for more than a hundred thousand dinners focused on having these end-of-life conversations. As Arianna Huffington said, 'We are such a fast-food culture, I love the idea of making the dinner last for hours. These are the conversations that will help us to evolve.' Let's Talk About Death (over Dinner) offers keen practical advice on how to have these same conversations - not just at the dinner table, but anywhere. There's no one right way to talk about death, but Hebb shares time- and dinner-tested prompts to use as conversation starters, ranging from the spiritual to the practical, from analytical to downright funny and surprising. By transforming the most difficult conversations into an opportunity, they become celebratory and meaningful - ways that not only can change the way we die, but the way we live.

A.A. Gill

A. A. Gill (1954-2016) was born in Edinburgh. He was the TV and restaurant critic and regular features-writer for the Sunday Times, a columnist for Esquire and contributor to Australian Gourmet Traveller. His books include A. A. Gill is Away, The Angry Island, Previous Convictions, Table Talk, Paper View, A. A. Gill is Further Away, The Golden Door and Lines in the Sand, as well as two novels and the memoir Pour Me, which was shortlisted for the 2016 PEN Ackerley Prize. The Best of A. A. Gill, a collection of his journalism, was published in 2017.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker won the Pulitzer prize and the American Book Award for The Color Purple. She is the author of many bestselling novels, essays and collections of poetry including Meridian, By the Light of My Father's Smile and The Third Life of Grange Copeland.Visit Alice Walker's official website at: alicewalkersgarden.com

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include Mary Queen of Scots, King Charles II, The Weaker Vessel: Woman's Lot in Seventeenth-Century England, which won the Wolfson History Prize, Marie Antoinette: The Journey, Perilous Question: The Drama of the Great Reform Bill 1832 and The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829. Must You Go?, a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and My History: A Memoir of Growing Up in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

Cathryn Kemp

Cathryn Kemp is an award-winning journalist and author. She has written across the spectrum of the British press, both tabloid and broadsheet, and online, and for many magazines. In 2002 she won the Peter Wilson Award for Journalism before running her own, highly successful press agency writing for radio and television. She is the author of PAINKILLER ADDICT, published by Piatkus in 2012, which won the Big Red Read Prize for non-fiction in 2013. This is a personal and lovingly crafted account of her grandmother's life and her legacy.

Eric Idle

Eric Idle is the third tallest member of Monty Python. In addition to the Python scripts, he is the author of the novels The Road to Mars and Hello Sailor; the Broadway musical Spamalot; the play Pass the Butler; and the children's book The Quite Remarkable Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat. He lives in Los Angeles.

Eva Weaver

Eva Weaver is a writer, art therapist, coach and performance artist. She moved to Britain from Germany in 1995 and lives in Brighton. Like many Germans, she has been haunted by the events of the Second World War, which inspired her to write her first novel, The Puppet Boy of Warsaw. It has now been published in thirteen countries. Eva's second novel, The Eye of the Reindeer, was inspired by journeys to Scandinavia, encounters with the Sami people and her work as an art therapist over many years in mental health services in the UK. Alongside her writing, Eva runs her own coaching practice. www.evaweaver.com

Harry Barry

Dr. Harry Barry is a highly respected Irish author and medic, with over three decades of experience as a GP. With a keen interest in the area of mental health and suicide prevention, Dr. Barry is the author of numerous books addressing various aspects of mental health including depression and toxic stress.

Henry Marsh

Henry Marsh read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University before studying medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, graduating in 1979. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1984 and was appointed Consultant Neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's/St.George's in 1987, where he still works full time.He has been the subject of two major documentary films: Your Life in their Hands (BBC 2003 ) which won the Royal Television Society Gold Medal and The English Surgeon (2009) which won an Emmy. He has lectured widely on the subject of hospital architecture and design, keeps bees and makes furniture in his spare time. He was made a CBE by HM the Queen in 2010. He is married to the best-selling anthropologist and writer Kate Fox.Visit the website www.theenglishsurgeon.com for more information.

Jonathan Dean

Jonathan Dean is Senior Writer for the Sunday Times Culture, regularly interviewing the world's biggest stars. He has written for the paper's News Review, Style, Magazine and Travel sections, on subjects ranging from Remembrance Day to holidays in LA, and contributed to the Pool, GQ, Shortlist, the Independent and Red.

Katherine May

Katherine May writes fiction and memoir, and is also known as Betty Herbert (The 52 Seductions). She lives in Whitstable with her husband and son, is obsessed with Devon, and loves gin martinis, the sea and walking until her legs ache. She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2016.Katherine began her literary career as a resident writer for Tate Britain's education programme, and until recently ran the Creative Writing programmes at Canterbury Christ Church University.Twitter: @_katherine_may_Instagram: @katherinemay_Website: http://how-to-walk.com/

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012. Visit her website at www.maevebinchy.com

Maggie Hartley

Maggie Hartley has fostered more than 300 children while being a foster carer for over twenty years. Taking on the children other carers often can't cope with, Maggie helps children that are deemed 'unadoptable' because of their behaviour or the extreme trauma that they've been through. She's looked after refugees, supported children through sexual abuse and violence court cases, cared for teenagers on remand and taught young mums how to parent their newborn babies.

Miss Read

Miss Read, or in real life Dora Saint, was a teacher by profession who started writing after the second world war, beginning with light essays written for Punch and other journals. She then wrote on educational and country matters and worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC. Miss Read was married to a schoolmaster for sixty-four years until his death in 2004, and they had one daughter. Miss Read was awarded an MBE in the 1998 New Year Honours list for her services to literature, She was the author of many immensely popular books, including two autobiographical works, but it was her novels of English rural life for which she was best known. The first of these Village School, was published in 1955, and Miss Read continued to write about the fictional villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green for many years. She lived near Newbury in Berkshire until her death in 2012.

Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was born in Chicago but lived in California for most of his life. He went to college at Berkeley for a year, ran a record store and had his own classical-music show on a local radio station. He published his first short story, 'Beyond Lies the Wub' in 1952. Among his many fine novels are The Man in the High Castle, Time Out of Joint, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.

Robert Twigger

Robert Twigger is a British author, poet and adventurer. After attending Oxford University he trained with the Tokyo Riot Police, which became the subject of his bestselling book Angry White Pyjamas. He has been awarded the Newdigate Prize for poetry, the Somerset Maugham Award for Literature and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. He led the expedition that was the first to cross the Great Sand Sea of the Egyptian Sahara solely on foot, and another that was the first to cross Western Canada in a birchbark canoe since 1793. He is the author of eight books, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as several collections of poetry. Big Snake was filmed for Channel 4.

Rosamond Richardson

Rosamond Richardson is the author of several books about the countryside, including the international bestseller Country Wisdom. She wrote regularly for Britain's biggest-selling bird magazine Bird Watching, and for several years was a contributor to The Countryman. Familiar to many as author of the Penguin Classic Hedgerow Cookery and co-presenter of BBC Two's Discovering Hedgerows, she also wrote for Landscape and Countryside magazines. She died in May 2017.

Thomas Pakenham

Thomas Pakenham is the author of the critically acclaimed THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA which won the W.H. Smith Award and the Alan Paton Award. He is also the author of THE BOER WAR, THE MOUNTAINS OF RASSELAS and THE YEAR OF LIBERTY. He lives in County Westmeath, Ireland and is chairman of the Irish Tree Society. He plants trees both for profit and ornament.

Tina Brown

Tina Brown is an award-winning writer and editor, and the founder of the Women in the World summits. Between 1979 and 2001 she was editor successively of Tatler, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. She is the author of the bestselling biography of the Princess of Wales, The Diana Chronicles, and of The Vanity Fair Diaries. In 2008 Brown founded The Daily Beast, and in 2014 launched Tina Brown Live Media to expand Women in the World internationally. She is married to editor, publisher and historian Sir Harold Evans, and lives in New York City.

Wendy Moore

Wendy Moore is a freelance journalist and author. Her first book, THE KNIFE MAN, won the Medical Journalists' Association Consumer Book Award in 2005 and was shortlisted for both Saltire and the Marsh Biography Awards. Her second book, WEDLOCK, has been highly acclaimed in reviews and was chosen as one of the ten titles in the Channel 4 TV Book Club. HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT WIFE was published to rapturous reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.